My older son has always been one to test his boundaries and push the limits. He has always been a little too smart for MY own good (if not his own) and often has a way of manipulating me despite my efforts to not be taken in by his charms or scheming. My son has also always much preferred unhealthy sugary snacks over good-for-you foods like fruits and vegetables. Everyone at my house sort of feels the same, even Tim and I, so this month I have declared a break from sweets. As I was contemplating the challenge of a month without desserts, I remembered a time from my older son’s toddler years……
It was in the evening, after dinner. I was probably a little tired and worn down from the day. My son had already been served dessert but, not surprisingly, he wanted more. When he asked, I decisively answered, “no”.
As is his way, he asked again. As is my way, I tried to be firm and said, “no” again.
He still wasn’t satisfied with that answer so I went on to explain the importance of moderation. I should have known better than to engage in a debate of any sort with a toddler and especially with this particular toddler, nevertheless...…..
“No more dessert. We must exercise a little self-control,” I told my precocious little boy. His eyes lit up in understanding and without a word he promptly took off running excitedly around the house a few times. Then he came back to me smiling, “I exercised my self-control mommy, now can I have more dessert?”
Laughing, I gave in and gave him more sweets. After all, he did exercise.